Archive for December 14th, 2006

14th December

First Published in The New York Sun, December 14, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

With much fanfare, Mayor Bloomberg spoke on Tuesday about the future of the city. Like many public servants before him, he seeks to leave a physical reminder of his administration, lest future generations forget that he once occupied a wing of City Hall. So he has established a new city agency, the Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, to guide the growth he believes the city will experience in the coming decades.

Many years ago, as a college student, I worked as a part-time clerk in the Municipal Reference Library. This allowed me to browse the library’s vast archives, filled with the plans, schemes, and visions of generations of mayors, government agencies, and private do-gooders. I soon learned that little in this collection of good intentions ever came to pass. Some of the plans, viewed in hindsight, were downright comical: 1920s’ visions of a city filled with pedestrian bridges linking the city’s skyscrapers, as dirigibles discharged commuters while tethered to masts at the tops of those buildings. (more…)